a long-lasting partnership
For a number of years now, Colruyt Group has been striving to greatly reduce the use of fossil fuels in its stores. In order to achieve this, it relies primarily on heat recovery from the refrigeration system to heat its stores. This is supplemented by a heat pump when necessary. The cooling, heat recovery and heat pump circuit is filled with a glycol-based heat transfer fluid (HTF) produced by Proviron.
determining the flocculation freeze point
An important reason for Colruyt Group choosing Proviron’s glycol-based cold carriers is the clear transparent communication about the product’s specifications, such as freezing floc point, freezing point, viscosity, etc. While we obviously take the freezing temperature into account, we also consider the freezing point, because then you know exactly when the fluid in your installation starts to crystallize,’ says Alexandre Segers, project engineer at Colruyt Group Technics. ‘As soon as crystallization starts, problems can arise in our cooling machines. This is why we wanted to know the freeze flocculation point.’
‘Most suppliers only indicate the freezing temperature. The fact that Proviron also mentions the freeze flocculation point was an added bonus for us. ‘In addition, there’s also the corrosion protection,’ Alexandre continues. ‘Proviron’s brochures list the corrosion rates of materials based on ASTM tests. We compared these corrosion rates with those of other suppliers’ products. We know that with Proviron’s glycol cold carrier, we are well protected against corrosion.’
food safety assured
For Colruyt Group, which is a food retailer as well as a producer, ensuring food safety is clearly important. Proviron offers a food-grade version of its refrigerants and they may therefore be used in environments where food is processed. ‘That’s important for Fine Food Meat, for example, our meat processing plant where we need food-grade HTFs,’ says Alexandre. If a leak caused the heat transfer fluid to come into contact with food and we didn’t notice it immediately, it would remain safe for the consumer:
Proviron also adds color to its cold carriers. This isn’t an obvious process because you can’t just use any pigment for food applications. For Colruyt Group, this is a major plus. ‘Especially in case of leaks, it’s therefore quickly clear that it’s not ordinary water and we have to handle it carefully, even though it isn’t a dangerous product.’
transparent data and excellent service
Colruyt Group is also satisfied in terms of service. ‘So far, everything has run smoothly. The Proviflow glycol heat transfer fluid has to date been delivered correctly and on time,’ says Alexandre.
‘The purchasing process went smoothly. We are the technical department. We don’t just buy a product; we make informed decisions based on technical data. I found it very convenient that all the data for Proviron’s products, together with the prices, were available in very clear tables where I found everything I needed. I was really pleased that data on the freezing point was also available, while many suppliers don’t even use the term’, he laughs.
Just like Proviron, Colruyt Group attaches great importance to sustainability and the environmental impact of its activities. Working with a local, Belgian supplier obviously requires less transport, which is a positive contribution to the environment. And it also allows both parties to be on the ball when necessary.
Colruyt Group is one of the instigators of the ‘Green Deal Circular Procurement‘,
an initiative that aims to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy in which waste becomes raw materials again. Proviron’s philosophy is also in keeping with this.
After five to ten years, the glycol in the cold carriers can degrade, reducing efficiency, corrosion and freeze protection. If we can then separate the water and glycol and recover and upgrade the used glycol, we have both no waste and a sustainable raw material.
Colruyt Group believes that collaboration with the Proviron R&D department can produce useful results. Monitoring the degradation of the glycol in older installations can be valuable, Alexandre says. In this way, we can continue to work together to find new applications for the used glycol.
‘It’s in Proviron’s DNA to think about the full life cycle when developing our products,’ says Wim Michiels, CEO of Proviron
Our collaboration with Colruyt Group has been very pleasant and we are very pleased to be able to work with such an innovative partner’, Wim continues. Sustainability and environmental impact are important to us and Colruyt Group is the perfect match because, just like Proviron, it goes the extra mile for people and the environment.’